New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthy Workplace
We’re not just at the start of a new year, but the start of a whole new decade. If you’re an employer, now is the time to think about life in your workplace. What would you change? What could you improve?
As a responsible employer, you might want to make positive changes for employees. Improving the health of your workforce has so many benefits, from improved morale and motivation to increased productivity. Give your employees the tools they need to live a healthier life in the 20s.
Here are some New Year’s resolutions to make your workplace a healthier place:
1. Encourage regular physical activity
Many people work in jobs where they’re forced to be almost sedentary. Sitting for long periods can cause issues with the heart, increased blood pressure and overall higher cholesterol.
Studies have shown that sitting for more than 8 hours a day can be as damaging as regular smoking.
There are many ways to encourage physical activity. If you need to have a meeting, walk and talk rather than taking a seat. Provide the option of a standing desk, instead of one with a chair. Promote the benefits of walking breaks, and allow people to take a stroll at some point during the day.
Ask people to leave their desks for lunch, and meet in a communal space. This doesn’t just make people move, but will also encourage them to take a proper break and clear work from their mind for a while. Social interaction is good for mental health and strengthens bonds for important team building.
2. Think about the freebies on offer
It’s typical for employers to provide a supply of free coffee and tea for their staff. Whilst occasional hot drinks aren’t an issue, too much caffeine can lead to health problems.
Consider removing the supply of free coffee for the staff in your workplace. Instead, get regular deliveries of fruit and healthy snacks. If staff want to continue drinking coffee, leave them to purchase their own. You can still supply and maintain the equipment, like kettles and coffee machines.
If you’re an employer that offers free snacks, like chocolate and crisps, then why not take these off the menu? If you have on-site vending machines, stock them with some healthy alternatives.
3. Keep everywhere clean
Hygiene is a big issue in every workplace. Few employees feel able to take time off when they’re ill, which means that germs can spread quickly as everybody works close together. On top of that, communal spaces can be breeding grounds for germs. When nobody takes responsibility, communal spaces can be poorly maintained and might get worse by the day.
Have a cleaner that visits regularly. If that’s not an option, or if you want to save money, have a communal cleaning schedule. Give your staff individual responsibilities, and allow them time within their day to fulfil them. Make sure that everyone takes responsibility for their own workspace, and that they have appropriate cleaning products that are safe and easy to use.
4. Provide healthy incentives and rewards
Many employers offer a selection of employee benefits. Strike a deal with a local gym to offer a discount membership, or subsidize gym memberships to make them cheaper for workers.
Consider offering health insurance, or regular optional health screenings. You can cover costs like visits to the optician, or overall annual health checks.
Reward staff with healthy prizes, like fitness watches as a reward for long service. These are valuable enough to be resold by employees that really don’t appreciate the gesture, but are sure to be loved by many employees that will make use of their gadget.
If you’re rewarding a team, skip the traditional drinks at the pub and replace them with a healthy activity.
Creating a healthier workplace requires some out-of-the-box thinking. So many of our daily habits are centred around food, and it’s tempting to want employees to work non-stop during the day, but little changes can improve productivity and make your employees more happy and alert.